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by Matt Brogan

With $1.5 billion in federal loan money on the way, Chrysler has introduced a number of financing options in the US today including zero per cent finance packages.

Company executives said the loan money should start flowing immediately and that further incentives could follow shortly.

“We can now buy credit and get customers in the 620 [credit score] range, which dramatically opens the footprint of customers who can buy from our dealers,” said Jim Press, Chrysler co-president.

Steven Landry, executive vice president for North American sales and service, said: “Dealers told us after December that not having Chrysler Financial cost us 20 to 25 percent sales. We could see a significant lift.”

The extra money does not mean that Chrysler will return to leasing, which was suspended suddenly last August. The loan is strictly available to retail customers only.

The loan announcement came a day after Chrysler announced it was extending shutdowns at some of its factories by an extra week.

Based on its sales projections, Chrysler expects to use up the loan proceeds by March 31st. That is the deadline for Congress to approve Chrysler’s plan for viability under conditions of its $4 billion federal loan.

There are no such plans for similar finance arrangements in any of Chrysler’s Australian dealerships.




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